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Baudelaire's "Argot Plastique": Poetic Caricature and Modernism

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Exploring the poet’s fascination with the affective power of caricature, Baudelaire’s “Argot Plastique” charts the movement in Baudelaire’s poetry toward a language of visual distortion. McLees demonstrates that caricature, graphically and culturally a vehicle of sharp wit and social commentary, became in Baudelaire’s works a poetic expression of the human condition itself Exploring the poet’s fascination with the affective power of caricature, Baudelaire’s “Argot Plastique” charts the movement in Baudelaire’s poetry toward a language of visual distortion. McLees demonstrates that caricature, graphically and culturally a vehicle of sharp wit and social commentary, became in Baudelaire’s works a poetic expression of the human condition itself. Using its capacity for deflating commentary to subvert the poetic conventions of his age, transferring its range of subjects into a poetry that celebrated the underclass, Baudelaire ultimately focused the lens of poetic caricature on the relation of subject, artist, and viewer. Richly illustrated with lithographs, etchings, and drawings by Goya, Daumier, Grandville, Gavarni, and other caricaturists, Baudelaire’s “Argot Plastique” reveals the importance of caricature as a model for Baudelaire’s poetry.


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Exploring the poet’s fascination with the affective power of caricature, Baudelaire’s “Argot Plastique” charts the movement in Baudelaire’s poetry toward a language of visual distortion. McLees demonstrates that caricature, graphically and culturally a vehicle of sharp wit and social commentary, became in Baudelaire’s works a poetic expression of the human condition itself Exploring the poet’s fascination with the affective power of caricature, Baudelaire’s “Argot Plastique” charts the movement in Baudelaire’s poetry toward a language of visual distortion. McLees demonstrates that caricature, graphically and culturally a vehicle of sharp wit and social commentary, became in Baudelaire’s works a poetic expression of the human condition itself. Using its capacity for deflating commentary to subvert the poetic conventions of his age, transferring its range of subjects into a poetry that celebrated the underclass, Baudelaire ultimately focused the lens of poetic caricature on the relation of subject, artist, and viewer. Richly illustrated with lithographs, etchings, and drawings by Goya, Daumier, Grandville, Gavarni, and other caricaturists, Baudelaire’s “Argot Plastique” reveals the importance of caricature as a model for Baudelaire’s poetry.

3 review for Baudelaire's "Argot Plastique": Poetic Caricature and Modernism

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  3. 4 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

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